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Gale force blows in for special Hunter Valley golf win

3 minute read

NSW golfer Daniel Gale sank a curling birdie putt on the 18th green to clinch a thrilling one-shot victory in the Webex Players Series Hunter Valley tournament.

Australian golfer Daniel Gale showed nerves of steel to hole a curling birdie putt on the 72nd hole to claim a thrilling one-shot victory in the Webex Players Series Hunter Valley tournament.

Gale came up trumps after a three-way tussle on Sunday, with the 27-year-old reaching 19-under-par to edge out Victorian amateur Phoenix Campbell by one shot. New Zealand star Kazuma Kobori finished third, another shot further back.

Victory at the Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort near Cessnock completed an emotional day for Sydneysider Gale, who registered his second victory of the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia season and his first in front of his parents.

"It is, they're over there. Mum's in tears, poor thing," Gale said when asked if this win was extra special.

"I had a couple of buddies come up for the weekend, which is even more special because they've seen numerous times how good I can actually play. And to get the win in front of them as well, it's awesome."

Gale's victory thwarted Kobori's charge for a fourth straight Webex Players Series title.

Sitting on 17-under with five holes to play and needing more birdies to secure yet another victory, the Kiwi failed to capitalise on his chances, with putts narrowly missing at 17 and 18 to ultimately leave him two short.

Campbell was the clubhouse leader, sitting pretty on 18-under, with Gale still on the course.

Gale drew level with Campbell after hitting a wedge to tap-in range at the par-five 16th, before his wedge and subsequent putt from 10 feet at the 18th secured the win.

"I feel like those bogeys down the stretch, they hurt because I hit such good shots. And Phoenix was just rock solid, not letting anyone in," Gale said.

Queensland PGA winner Campbell left disappointed but also optimistic.

"To be leading 71 holes of 72 is pretty incredible for me, and to hold my nerve there towards the end ... I got a lot out of this week," Campbell said.

"I think coming second is probably the best thing that could have happened to me as well, I think it is just going to drive me to get better and keep growing. I am only looking up from here, it's just the beginning of the journey."

Also looking at his own journey, Gale now has the DP World Tour in his sights, with a jump on the Order of Merit potentially putting one of the three cards in reach.

Kobori's hot run home also helped his Order of Merit aspirations, while Elvis Smylie finished one back of the Kiwi in fourth on 14-under.

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